Mondy, Harrison C.
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March 19, 1917 - February 16, 2013
Harrison Mondy was born on March 19, 1917 in the community of Lorine, Arkansas and passed away on February 16, 2013 in Pasadena. He was the oldest of five children born to Lloyd Mondy and Mary Ellen Carter Mondy. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school (and, yes, he always claimed that he walked five miles each way through the rain and snow to attend Pocahontas High School). During the Depression, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, took correspondence classes in engineering, and taught classes in radio. During WWII, he was sent to Syracuse, New York, where he was reunited with an old friend from Little Rock, U.S. Army Captain Margaret Jinks, who was stationed on Governor's Island, N.Y. They were married in 1946. The following year, they moved to New Orleans where Harrison became the chief engineer for radio station WWEZ. Even though he was employed full time, he obtained a B.A. in electrical engineering from Tulane University in 1958. Harrison accepted a position with North American Aviation and the family moved to El Segundo. Harrison spent most of his career as an aerospace engineer at TRW specializing in antenna design, working on the Apollo project, and deep space satellite surveillance. Harrison was always curious about everything, but he was particularly interested in early Christianity, the historical Jesus, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, insects and reptiles, the native people of Central Australia, novels and non-fiction. While living in Alice Springs in the early 1970's he compiled the first written language and dictionary for the Pitjantjatjara people. Always a poet and writer, he wrote a book for children, "Inside the Tortoise Shell", when he was in his mid-eighties. Harrison is survived by his wife of 66 years, Margaret, his daughter, Judy Armstrong and her husband John, his son James Mondy and his wife Geraldine, granddaughter Brecken Armstrong-Kelsey, M.D. and her husband Matt, great granddaughter Gwyneth Kelsey, his sister Jewel Kirk, and many nieces and nephews. His intellect and warmth will be greatly missed.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 3, 2013